April 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s bride Zoe was aiming for ‘1940s film starlet’ for her vintage wedding day look. After seeing these photographs, we’re sure you’ll agree that she smashed it. With her tea-length dress, birdcage veil and amazing Ingrid Bergman-esque ‘do’, she looks every inch the glamourous bride.
Retro vibes permeate every aspect of this gorgeous wedding, from the live music to the rich colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses and the stunning floral arrangements. Full marks, guys!
Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re also touched by Zoe’s advice to brides-to-be: look into your partner’s eyes and not the registrar’s (!), and get thee to a Brides Up North wedding fair. Who are we to disagree?!
With photography by Kate McCarthy Photography
zoe says: We got engaged in Venice at 5.30am on a bridge in Canaregio on 7th May 2016. We’d always wanted to have a two-week holiday in Italy with a week in Venice then a week in Tuscany. We arrived on the Friday and got a water taxi (a complete treat, but obviously Chris knew he was going to propose on holiday whereas I had no clue!)
We love seeing a city wake up, so got up early on the Monday to go and walk round the beautiful streets. We started to cross the bridge right by our apartment and Chris caught my hand, stopped me and said, “Do you love it here?” I replied “Yes, of course” and he then got down on one knee – at which point I started grinning madly! And then he said “Great – in that case, would you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” and produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring! At this point I wanted to shout “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” quite loudly but remembered no one else was awake. Instead, we skipped (literally) down the street grinning our heads off!
Our wedding was planned for 10th February 2017. We wanted to get married quickly but still have some time to plan. We were extremely flexible and so chose our location and then saw what they could offer us – they had this particular Friday free and so we booked it!
Our venue was The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. We had quite a tick list – we wanted somewhere unusual and quirky, with a dancefloor and room for a band but also somewhere with a separate room so that people could sit down and talk. Chris doesn’t dance and so wanted to be able to go around and speak to everyone. I visited it with my mum and, walking in, I was immediately excited; it has a lovely feel, is full of art deco art and pieces, it has a huge welcoming fireplace and the bar is straight in front as you walk in. I spied a room off this entrance with tables and chairs in, so immediately thought that was a tick. We then went upstairs to the dining area which was set up for a wedding – I actually gasped! They had twisted willow and flowers and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and huge tall vases of flowers, vibrant, rich, opulent colours and gorgeous iris-patterned wallpaper. I was a little bit teary and knew this was the place.
Our theme was a bit vintage and Peaky Blinders, I suppose. I love vintage dresses and wanted to look like a 1940s film star. We didn’t have a colour-scheme as such, but we chose deep reds, purples and pinks for the bridesmaids and flowers. I wanted the bridesmaids to choose their own dress and style but with a vintage theme. I wanted them to be able to wear them again and really enjoy choosing their own dresses!
For my dress, I knew I wanted something in a vintage style from the 40s/50s and tea-length. I started to look on Pinterest and came across a dress that I loved, so went onto the designer’s website and found a local stockist. I went to Puure in Lymm and Angie, the owner, saw me. I tried the dress I’d seen on and liked it but she insisted I try on more – and I was happy to oblige! After another one, she bought a dress out that I looked at and my heart started to beat faster even though it was full-length and had no sleeves! She fastened me up and explained it could be made-to-measure, adjusted to tea length and have three-quarter sleeves fitted. I looked at myself and felt fantastic. My mum grinned and I had a little tear! That was it. It was ivory satin – so rich and so many sumptuous folds of gorgeous material! It had a little belt with a sparkly diamante square buckle, a fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a net top with tiny sparkles on. I had so many lovely compliments. Angie and her team and Sonya, the seamstress were absolutely incredible and made me feel like a 1940s film star on my day!
I wanted my hair setting in a vintage style and so booked the amazing Ewa Baberska, hair and makeup artist, to finish the look. Suzie Taylor was my makeup artist and she was great. I wanted a very natural look as I don’t wear much and she did exactly that, yet made me look fab.
For my headpiece I also wanted something vintage and had met Kaye Hannabuss of Kaye Hannabus Textiles at a networking meeting. We got chatting and I asked her if she would be able to make me something. She made me a fabulous vintage-inspired headpiece with a birdcage veil, a smartie base and a bow. For the evening, she made me a gorgeous hair slide with beads and pearls and diamante. Kaye works with Harris Tweed and so Chris was interested in talking to her about his and Holly’s waistcoats.
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November 14th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today’s wedding is a stunning example of how a wedding can be both lavish and relaxed.
Working around an elegant blush pink and dove grey colour scheme, Debbie and Darran went all out with the wedding styling choosing striking floral decorations and an abundance of candles to enhance their already stunning venue.
The wedding party looked extra glam too, with the bridesmaids in shimmering grey dresses and Debbie in a stunning fish-tail style gown.
Keen not to overdo the formalities though, the bride and groom opted for relaxed bowl-food style dining, lots of sweet treats and enjoyable live entertainment. A winning combination we say!
With images by Jonny Draper Photography.
debbie says: Our love story began on 25th February 2012. Darran and I had known each other for over ten years, our youngest children went through school together. We had both become single and Darran took the opportunity to ask me to go for a drink with him. Little did I know that 1,527 days later he would become my husband.
We officially got engaged on Sunday 22nd February 2015, Darran got down on one knee on the Sunday morning not long after we had woken up, and he was wearing just his undies! So romantic. The following day we had a surprise 40th lunch to attend. After we left the lunch I suggested we take a drive over to Ashfield House, unbeknown to him I had secretly popped in their six months previously to pick up a brochure. We rocked up unannounced on the off chance that we could get a proper look around. Fortunately for us Katie Street was more than accommodating. From the moment I walked through Ashfield’s front door I knew that this was where I wanted to get married.
To get the ball rolling we made an appointment for the following Saturday to visit Prestons of Bolton to pick out my engagement ring. We had an amazing experience at Preston’s of Bolton, being served with Veuve Clicquot champagne whilst we looked at various diamonds. I had pretty much made up my mind beforehand that I would like a pear cut solitaire, as Darran had bought me pear cut earrings a few years previously.
We set the date of the wedding for Sunday 1st May 2016. We knew that by picking a bank holiday weekend that it would give our travelling guests the opportunity to make a full weekend of it.
Ashfield House was such a perfect venue for the wedding. The building, in our opinion, is stunning with so much character and history. We loved the bright airy feel to the recently revamped Langtree Suite, which is where our ceremony took place.
The grounds at Ashfield House are simply stunning too. Unfortunately for us the weather was wet and temperamental, and although we did manage to get outside to get some fantastic shots, the fact that there are so many places inside for your photographer to shoot some cool original shots is a massive bonus. We also loved the fact that Ashfield House is an exclusive wedding venue Monday to Saturday. On a Sunday they do serve Sunday lunch. This didn’t cause us any problems though as we knew that the lunchtime guests would have left by the time our ceremony took place.
The icing on the cake was that Ashfield House has 15 ensuite rooms with a handful of suites that are competitively priced. This meant that our travelling guests had the beauty of staying over at the wedding venue too.
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July 7th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Today we’re excited to be bringing you a styled shoot with a difference. Instead of the usual collaboration between local wedding suppliers to create an inspirational wedding day set using professional models and props, this morning’s styled shoot sees a real wedding couple taking centre stage, with little need for details.
The stars of the shoot, Amy and Adam, tied the knot two years ago but back then were unable to afford a quality photographer to capture their day as they would have liked. Keen to do something about it, they approached photographer Kate McCarthy with the idea of doing an ‘anniversary shoot’ to give them those special portraits that they longed for.
The result is a glam outdoor shoot with true emotions and laughter that will be treasured by the ‘models’ for many years to come.
To explain more about the concept we’ll hand over to the lady that captured the magic…
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
kate says: Amy is a fellow photographer whom I’ve become friends with recently and the anniversary shoot was something she was eager to do. Having had a discussion about our own wedding photos Amy had said that two years ago when she and Adam got married, they were (like so many of us) in the unfortunate position of not being able to pay for quality photos of their largely DIY wedding day. With their anniversary looming, Amy approached me with the idea of essentially ‘re-staging’ their wedding photos but with the freedom to have a bit more fun with them; to wear a totally different dress that showed off her own personal style and to capture her and her lovely husband Adam’s natural chemistry and laid-back comfort with each other.
We both loved the idea of a springtime woodland-style shoot and I suggested the not-so-secret Walkden Gardens, just down the road from me in Sale. I chose the location because I knew it was still quiet in the mornings. Not many people seem to know it exists! I wanted the ability to shoot without the couple feeling like they were on show. This way they were able to relax and be themselves with each other. After shooting in the gardens, I wanted to show contrast to the organic shapes and colours by shooting against brick or steel as well.
We kept styling to a minimum and chose to just let the flowers take centre stage in the locations. Amy originally planned to use her own wedding dress but changed her mind in favour of something totally different. The shape of her chosen dress (which was from ASOS) was very retro and so makeup artist Charlotte Sprosten of Beauty in Elysium, took her cues from the rose gold hue and the flowers and created a very soft bridal look with a bold berry lip.
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